NEWARK, NJ — For the past two months, the Newark Downtown District (NDD) has been delivering fresh meals to people in need throughout Newark as part of a new "From the Heart" program.
Residents throughout the entire city are experiencing hunger resulting from the impacts of decreased employment and mobility brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. These issues prompted NDD CEO Anthony McMillan and other team leaders to use their resources to assist those in need. Beginning in April, the NDD launched the new program.
Since the program’s inception, the NDD has raised enough funds to directly deliver several hundred meals, prepared by Newark-based restaurants. The NDD reaches out to partners around the city for tax-deductible donations, and donors are eager to support local restaurants who are otherwise struggling. With the average cost per meal at $10, 100% of donations are immediately spent at neighborhood eateries to ensure meals are bought and delivered without haste to those who need them.
The NDD’s Ambassadors, known for their bright yellow uniforms, deliver the meals during lunch time to senior homes and shelters around Newark. This week’s delivery went to support the “I Have A Dream Foundation,” which sponsors low-income children in their education and career goals.
“We specifically select restaurants that are based in the neighborhoods where the need resides, ensuring we are spreading our resources throughout the entire city,” McMillan said. “We are committed to the ‘From the Heart’ program for as long as the donations keep coming in and the need is there.”
To date, the NDD has selected 13 agencies/organizations in Newark for possible inclusion in the program. The NDD is seeking recommendations to help ensure the most needy residents receive at least one meal through the program.
A recent food delivery arrived at the Grace West Manor on Irvine Turner Boulevard and Apostles House on Grant Street, delivered from Chateau of Spain, based on Franklin Street.
“The seniors are raving about getting food from one of the best Spanish restaurants in town; the NDD Ambassadors made their day,” said Jasminee Sawh-Ramroop, Senior Resident Services Coordinator at Grace West Manor. “They loved the hot chicken and rice, and are so appreciative for what NDD is doing for residents across Newark.”